Bill Cosby Found Guilty and What This Means for #MeToo

Bill Cosby Found Guilty and What This Means for #MeToo

Max Boland

Former Temple University law professor and former prosecutor, Andrea Constand, was granted a retrial–and she won.  Bill Cosby was officially found guilty for the sexual assault of Constand in January of 2004. Although fifty other women have come forward in accusing Cosby of sexual assault or rape, Constand is the only to file suit against him–and win. In December of 2015, the jury was deadlocked for five days, most likely because of Cosby’s status as America’s charismatic father. The judge presiding over the case granted Ms. Constand a retrial, and Cosby’s guilt was proven Thursday, April 26th.

So, how do they know each other in the first place? And is this case really so black and white? Absolutely.

Cosby and Constand met at a Temple women’s basketball game in November of 2002, the school for which Cosby is an alumni. In 2005, Constand moves back in with her mother and reveals that she’s been sexually violated by Cosby about a year earlier (this timeline is subjective because if it had happened in 2002, Cosby would be protected by the statute of limitations). The Montgomery County district attorney decides not to charge Cosby and let him walk away scot-free, because of insufficient evidence. In September of 2005, Constand sues Cosby and, with the support of other victims, they settle for 3 million dollars. During this trial, Cosby admits to obtaining quaaludes and using them on his victims. The women who settled with Cosby, however, did not feel they received justice and worry about the other women he may hurt.

In July of 2015, the case was reopened. Nearly three years later, countless victims, and six victim testimonies–irrefutable evidence–Bill Cosby will go away for at least ten years, if not thirty (if he serves his sentences consecutively).

Now, do you recall the #MeToo movement that sparked controversy between victims coming forward and other stars such as Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein? Surely, you must. The victims who have come forward, however, have not won in any way against their perpetrators. This conviction of Bill Cosby is the first win for the #MeToo movement, and an incentive for more women to stand up, as well as a restorative act for hope and humankind.

There has been overwhelming evidence before for prominent members of society, and rarely are they convicted or serve any real time. For example, former Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, had raped a woman outside a dumpster at a college party; there were witnesses present, the woman herself got a rape kit done and Turner received only three months in jail. This outraged many, and rightfully so. For all the women who haven’t come forward, and who might never, this Bill Cosby conviction is a win and a sign that the tides are turning in sexual assault rulings that have been egregiously unfair in the past.